Loss Avoidance Study: Oregon Property Acquisition and Structure Elevation

Study Summary

 Study Area – City of Tillamook, OR 

Hazard Type – Flood 

Project Type – Nine flood mitigation projects for commercial buildings were evaluated in this loss avoidance study: three elevations and six acquisition/ demolitions. 

Total Project Cost –$4.7 million (nine projects; 2009 dollars) 

Total Losses Avoided – $3.1 million (2009 dollars) 

Return on Investment (ROI) – 0.66 

Pre- and Post-Mitigation Events

This Loss Avoidance Study (LAS or study) focuses on commercial building acquisitions and elevations in the City of Tillamook, OR, that took place between 1997 and 2007. Each of the nine buildings included in the study experienced repeated flooding from the Wilson River and associated sloughs. At least three of the buildings were considered repetitive loss properties, including one property that incurred at least eleven National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) losses over 20 years. As a result, three commercial buildings were elevated above the base (100-year) flood elevations (BFEs) for the area and six commercial buildings were acquired and demolished.

Small veterinary hospital located in elevated house structure.
Veterinary Hospital Post-Elevation

Loss Avoidance Methodology

Following a major flood in Tillamook on January 8, 2009, FEMA partnered with the State of Oregon to conduct an LAS to assess the cost-effectiveness of nine of the flood mitigation projects. All nine projects involved commercial buildings along a 1-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 101, known as Main Street, within the City limits.

The City of Tillamook is located on the southeastern end of Tillamook Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The locations of the nine properties assessed in this study are shown in Figure 1.

Location of Flood Mitigation Projects Selected for Oregon LAS Loss Avoidance Study: Oregon. Shown: Property locations by Elevated Properties; Acquired Properties. FEMA-1824-DR-OR, September 2009.
Figure 1. Map of Project Area

This study was conducted to determine the ROI for the nine mitigation projects by comparing losses avoided in all floods since the project implementation to the cost of the mitigation projects.

Return on Investment

The study shows that all of the projects resulted in losses being avoided from flooding. The majority of the projects were implemented after 2003, which is only 6 years into the useful life. The value of the losses avoided and, therefore, the ROI will increase in the future as other flood events occur.

Last updated February 11, 2021